The end of summer?

With the rather stormy weather today it was clear that our “Indian summer” has probably come to an end. We both headed out to Cley in the late afternoon, although torrential downpours were on the cards, as they had been earlier in the day. We were lucky enough to arrive between showers and walked along to the nearest hide to see what was about. Some previous rather thoughtless people had left all the viewing shutters open and – somewhat inevitably – the rain had come in and all the benches and the floor were sodden.

I suspect the birds outside were also sodden, but birds have amazing oil glands which help to keep their feathers waterproof, so the water just slides straight off: “like water off a duck’s back” – a very accurate saying!

There were – as usual – quite a lot of black-tailed godwits, and we also saw ruff and curlew. We got good views of several marsh harriers, and heard a couple of Cetti’s warblers. Nothing unusual, but very enjoyable to watch the changing stormy sky.

A stormy sunset at Cley

Brenda writes: “Numbers and variety of moths were better last night and it was good to see middle-barred sallow and snout today. And we had another new species, one I particularly love, the lunar underwing. It has such striking markings.

lunar underwing

Today was not a day to hazard a long walk if we wanted to stay dry, as bands of thundery rain swept through. Steve’s suggestion that we go to Cley and head for the Bishop’s Hide was a good one. We sat in the dry and watched the pool whilst the rain poured down. I had forgotten that nodding bur-marigold grows opposite the hide and, although late in its flowering season, it was still good to see. Once the rain stopped the marsh harriers were back on the wing and there was a beautiful sunset.”

nodding bur-marigold

New species for September 18th:
Moths: lunar underwing
Flowers: nodding bur-marigold

Birds = 217
Moths = 228
Wildflowers = 280